Thursday 21 March 2013

The Core and Begonia

These two really unusual puzzles come from the devious mind of prolific Turkish puzzle designer Yavuz Demirhan. (You have to call him prolific – not many folks have had more than 170 designs listed on Ishino’s site in less than two years!) 

The Core and Begonia share a common basic premise (albeit a rather unusual one) of being a 3D packing puzzle where the object is to pack the pieces into a tray shaped like the three sides of the corner of a box. They differ slightly in their target shape in that The Core ends up with a cube emerging from the tray whereas Begonia targets a flat plate covering the three sides of the corner … and Begonia has a little cubie lodged in the back corner to “help” you. 

Begonia requires you to tile a 4*4*4 corner with 8 pieces – 4 of which have a twist in them so they must go in one of the bends of the three axes … which should cut down on the number of potential possibilities to try, rather a lot you might think! Which is both a good and a bad thing as it turns out – good because there are fewer wrong (almost-) assemblies and bad because there’s a unique solution… and it’s a long way from being a trivial puzzle, as some of my mates can testify to!
Eric’s made the tray out of walnut and the pieces are rosewood, as are the splines in the box / tray. 

The Core asks you to build a 3*3*3 cube (almost – there are two cubies missing) in a frame that covers three sides and leaves a 2*2*2 gap in one of the corners. While it only(!) has 5 pieces, and one of them is quite large, this puzzle is also rather tricky given the constraints of having to post each of the pieces through the 2*2*2 hole. 

You might decide to work your way through all the possible 3*3*3 assemblies and then try and establish which of those could be posted through the hole, but that might be quite time-consuming given that there are more than 500 assemblies and only a single solution!  You might be better off trying to work out how the last few pieces need to slot in place in order to give the impression of a complete cube… 

Embarrassing side note: Eric ships The Core partially assembled – with one piece separate… and it took me an embarrassingly long time to extract the piece from the frame – it seemed that no matter what I did, they were locked in good and proper … it took me a while to realise that I need to stop some of the hidden pieces from moving in order to stand a chance of getting anywhere – yip, I’m a bit slow on the uptake!

Fit and finish on both puzzles are the usual Fuller-standards-of-perfection. 


  1. I wish I had bought them now! Got the others but missed out on these!
    Damn!! :(


  2. Yeah me too....should have bought them!

  3. I got The Core and loved it, but now I wish I'd gotten the Begonia as well. Looks great in your pictures!!!